Can an employer fire you for contacting an former co-worker?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer fire you for contacting an former co-worker?

An ex-employee of the business where I work has resigned from the company. This person owes me money and has borrowed several things from me which have not been returned. My employer says that I am not allowed to contact this person regarding this and will terminate my employment if I do. Again, this person no longer get works for this employer.

Asked on December 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Actually, a worker can be fired for the reason that you state or for any reason or for no reason at all. This is known as "at will" employment. Your only protection here is if you have an employment contract or union agreement that provides otherwise. Also, your treatment must not constitute some for of legally actionable discrimination or retaliation (which it does not appear to). Bottom line, you can either comply with your company's request, ignore it but face termination, or quit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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